The Twenty-Sixth Biennial Conference of the Nordic Association for American Studies


Bergen, Norway, 25-27 April, 2019


Welcome to the home page of the Nordic Association for American Studies (NAAS). 

The purpose of NAAS is to encourage the study of the United States, particularly in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.

NAAS organizes biannual conferences, publishes a peer-reviewed journal (American Studies in Scandinavia) and a newsletter, and engages in other activities in keeping with its purpose.

New books

A new novel by Professor David E. Nye McSocrates (August 2018)

When Michelle Jensen gets her first teaching position at Socrates College in upstate New York, she is not looking for love or excitement, but quiet research time. But life is what happens while you are making other plans. The college plans a $100 million digital transformation, which many faculty and students resist. Despite herself, she is drawn into the conflict. In this entertaining satire Michelle meets Ricardo Ghee, a glamorous consultant; Simon Meintz, an émigré Austrian professor who reportedly speaks Belgian; Betty Thayer, a savvy social worker; Mad Zilo, a student who wears only black and white clothes and can fix any device; autocratic President Holloway, bent on transforming the college; Alvin Brator, dazzling billionaire college donor, and many more. As the conflict intensifies, Michelle finds herself at the center of a national media event, and she is drawn to someone she ought to detest.


Barack Obama to visit University of Southern Denmark, Kolding, September 28, 2018

SDU’s leaders of tomorrow meet Barack Obama

University of Southern Denmark emphasizes its international focus further, when students and other guests meet former President of the United States Barack Obama, who is to visit SDU Kolding on 28 September.

Barack Obama was a historic president, who clearly left his mark globally. And even if Barack Obama left the presidency in January 2017, he is also as an ex-president a much-coveted speaker.

On 28 September he will take to the podium as a guest speaker at SDU Kolding, when SDU, in collaboration with Kolding Municipality and Business Kolding, is hosting an exclusive event for 200 invited students and other invited guests.

- As a regional player, this is a unique opportunity for us to support an exceptional event here in the Region of Southern Denmark. It is an event that in every possible way promotes SDU’s strategic goals of being an international university, enabling every talent and encouraging the exceptional, says Bjarne Graabech Sørensen, pro-vice-chancellor at SDU.

At the same time, Bjarne Graabech Sørensen emphasizes the unique opportunity to seek a dialogue with one of the most significant politicians in recent times this visit offers students and researchers.

Barack Obama’s visit gives the leaders of tomorrow, in the form of our students, the chance to meet a charismatic and inspiring person, who has been of great importance to the development of the world this past decade.

Bjarne Graabech Sørensen, pro-vice-chancellor

- In addition, the visit provides a relevant contribution to our strong research environments within social studies, management and entrepreneurship among others, says Bjarne Graabech Sørensen.

Call for papers: The Art of Artertainment: Nobrow, American Style

Many of our current cultural practices are marked by a union of art and entertainment. Underlined by all-pervasive processes of globalization and digitalization, this union comes in all shapes and sizes, transforming culture so that it can no longer be comfortably classified as high or low, art or genre. Surprisingly, this ‘art of artertainment’ has not, as yet, attracted much scholarly interest. It is with the aim of overcoming this omission that we launch this call for papers.

As editors of a collection titled The Art of Artertainment: Nobrow, American Style, we warmly invite articles that focus on all aspects of American culture, such as literature, television, cinema, music, painting, material culture, photography, theater, and all other that are influenced by the crossovers of highbrow with lowbrow. Of special interest are historical and/or analytical approaches illuminated by colorful studies of cases where art and entertainment come together, written from the perspective of aesthetics, history, sociology, anthropology, art history, communications, digital culture, and the like.

Please send an abstract of minimum 400 words along with a biographical note to both editors, Peter Swirski, Distinguished Professor of American Studies and American Literature (peter.swirski@ualberta.ca) and Iris Vidmar, Senior Researcher in the Analytic Philosophy of Art and Literature (ividmar@ffri.hr). To coin a slogan, we are looking for highbrow content and reader-friendly, lowbrow style. The deadline for the abstract submission is 1st September,    2017, but feel free to approach us any time.

Heidelberg Center for American Studies 14th Annual Spring Academy Conference

CFP: European Journal of American Culture-Violence interpreted: Connections between the Violent Past of the United States and Conflict Today, deadline September 8

37th American Indian Workshop, May 25-28, 2016, University of Southern Denmark

The Department for the Study of Culture at the University of Southern Denmark is proud to be hosting the annual conference, American Indian Workshop in May 2016. This year’s overall theme is “Humor” in Indigenous cultures, art, literatures, politics, and epistemologies. The conference will feature presentations by scholars from all over the world, broadly focused on comedy and tragedy as well as other forms of performance and cultural expression.

The keynote session titled “Humor, Indigenous Knowledges, and Survivance” features presentations by Anishinaabe literary scholar Gerald Vizenor (Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley) and professor of political science Amy Lauren Lovecraft (University of Alaska, Fairbanks).

Please see the attached document for titles and abstracts for the keynote lectures.

For more information and registration, please follow this link: www.sdu.dk/aiw16

For further questions and general queries, please email Marianne Kongerslev (makon@sdu.dk).

EAAS Postgraduate Travel Grants

The next round of EAAS Postgraduate Travel Grants is now open. All relevant information and the application forms are available online at http://eaas.eu/eaas-grants/travel-grants

CFP: “Fear and friendliness in the United States”

American Studies Association of Norway

Oslo, Norway

Oct. 28-30, 2016

Conference venue: Scandic Helsfyr, Oslo

The American Studies Association of Norway (ASANOR) is a professional,

academic organization for people who are actively interested in American

Studies. ASANOR is pleased to call for proposals for its 41st annual conference in Oslo, 28-30 October 2016.

Conference theme: “Fear and friendliness in the United States”

The USA has a culture of fear, but American culture is also a culture of

friendliness. In a sense, the USA is torn between fear and friendliness; closeness and openness; and pessimism and optimism. This tension is visible in many areas. The election and reelection of president Barack Obama on the one hand evoked fear of a socialist, foreign take-over of America, but also was an expression of friendliness towards talented people despite their ethnic and class background. In Fargo, the widely acclaimed film and TV-series, the niceness of the Upper Midwest is contrasted with the harshness of big city crime. The graphic novel turned into hit TV-series The Walking Dead explores how a group of survivors balance fear of strangers with friendliness towards fellow human beings in a post-apocalyptic era. 

The tension has deep roots in American history. Alexis de Tocqueville noted Americans’ enduring optimism, but just a few years later, nativist sentiments drew on people’s fear of the new and unknown. Sinclair Lewis' novel Main Street (1920) explored how friendly Midwesterners fostered a narrow culture where outsiders remained outsiders. During the 20th century fear was sometimes used in the name of defending a free and open republic: the Asian Exclusion Act of 1924 and the hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee in the McCarthy Era excluded alien elements that were a perceived threat to American freedoms. Today, fear of Islamic terrorism lead presidential candidate Donald Trump to call for a temporary ban on Muslims from entering the United States.

We seek proposals for papers and panels addressing the role of fear and/or friendliness in American culture and in relation to other cultures. Each paper should last for no more than 20 minutes. As an interdisciplinary academic organization, ASANOR wishes to include presentations from a wide range of disciplines. Topics include, but are not limited to:

• Film and popular culture

• Literature

• Race and ethnicity

• National politics

• Crime

• Regionalism

• Immigration

• Religion

• Legal issues

• Foreign relations

• Nationalism

Invited speakers:

Keynote speaker

Professor Amy Louise Wood (Illinois State University) will deliver

the keynote address. Her current research investigates ideas about

criminality at the turn of the 20th century, which wavered between fear and friendliness toward the criminal, and the effect of these ideas on prison reform. Professor Wood has previously published the book Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940 (University of North Carolina Press, 2009) for which she received the Lillian Smith Book Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in History.

Panel on academic publishing

Michelle Houston, commissioning editor with the Edinburgh University Press, has been invited to participate on a panel on academic publishing along with scholars in the field (tbd).

Panel on writing for/speaking to a general audience 

We have also invited a group of scholars to share their experiences on writing for and speaking to a general audience. How can we as Americanists explain current events to the average Norwegian?

Proposals for Individual Papers 

Please provide the title and an abstract (300 words max.) of the paper you are proposing: your name, institutional affiliation, and email address; and a brief biographical statement (100 words max.). Please include the biographical statement at the end of your abstract.

Proposals for Panels

Please provide a description (700 words max) of the topic of the panel and each panelist’s contribution; the title of the panel and titles and abstracts for individual papers; and a brief biographical statement (100 words max.) about each panelist. Please include the biographical statements at the end of the abstracts.

Please send proposal and CV to Dr. Hilde Løvdal Stephens at

hildelovdal@gmail.com and associate professor Alf Tomas Tønnessen at

toenness@hivolda.no by April 15, 2016.

Conference organizers:

Hilde Løvdal Stephens

Alf Tomas Tønnessen

Mia Jønnum

International conference at the National Library of Norway: 11 November 2015

Nordic Whiteness - Export of and Assimilation into the Ideal in a Comparative Historical Perspective

The conference will study the historical transformation and transatlantic travel of the cultural myth of 'Nordic whiteness.' The notion will be addressed as a part of migration studies. We will bring together two historical cases: 19th and 20th century emigration from the Nordic countries to the USA and contemporary immigration to 'Norden.' We will study Nordic whiteness as an export 'commodity' and an ideal to be integrated into. How did Nordic whiteness become a weapon for both 'conquering' a new territory and 'defending' an old one? Is it articulated differently when it is 'brought' or when one is confronted with whiteness as a sign of nativeness? In addition, we will trace the development of Nordic whiteness over time and look at how it has been transformed from an open to a hidden mechanism of power. Is whiteness always integrated into democratic structures, be they emerging or developed and successful democracies?

We will approach whiteness as a cultural construct and a symbol of privilege. The spectrum of connotations associated with this notion is rich and linked to progress, development, decency and morality. Whiteness studies became influential in the US in the late 20th century, inspired by David Roediger's seminal study The Wages of Whiteness (1991). At the center of attention was the call for a more 'race'-sensitive history of labor movement. Feminist studies uncovered the way in which whiteness was functioning as an invisible marker of feminist movement, as well (Frankenberg, 1993).

Recurring groups of immigrants in the US remade themselves into a race-conscious part of the working class and politics. Integral to this process toward a white constructed politics and identity was the immigrants' ability to accept American notions of social hierarchy, which placed whites above blacks in the struggle for power. Research has been done on how the 'new' immigrants from southern and eastern Europe were 'in-between people' – that is, neither entirely white nor entirely black. However, whiteness has been understudied in relation to immigrants from the Nordic countries. Research on 'Nordic experiences of immigration into America have normally depicted the immigrants in terms of the struggles and deprivation they faced in the new country. We will shed new light on Nordic immigration to the US and ask whether being white actually helped Nordic immigrants integrate into the race, gender and class hierarchies of American society.

To enable a comparison in time and in relation to the 'in-out' dimension, we will look at the contemporary integration process of different migrants in the Nordic countries. Must they adjust to the unspoken ideal of Nordic whiteness in their new countries of residence, which become increasingly defined by multiple inequalities? Does being/becoming Danish, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish imply being 'recruited' into whiteness? And has whiteness become associated with equality, progressiveness and democracy?


Some of the speakers and topics are:

Allyson Hobbs, Stanford University, History Department, USA:"A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life"

Catrin Lundström, University of Linköping, Sweden: "Embodying exoticism: Swedish women and Nordic Whiteness in the US"

Prof. em. Odd Lovoll, Saint Olaf College, Minnesota, USA: "In the American Matrix. Norwegians in Chicago in the Nineteenth Century"


For full program and registration, please follow the link:




Participation is free of charge.


With the best regards,

Jana Sverdljuk


National Library of Norway

Tlf. +4723276059

Postboks 2674, Solli

NO-0203 Oslo




Terje M. Hasle Joranger, PhD

Lecturer, Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages University of Oslo Blindern 0315 Oslo

E-mail: t.m.h.joranger@ilos.uio.no

Tel. +47 95854791

The NAAS Conference 2015 in Oulu, May 11-13 

Visit the NAAS 2015 Conference Website by clicking here: https://sites.google.com/site/fasafinnishamericanstudies/naas-2015-conference

North American In/Securities: A Local-Global Nexus

October 1-2, 2015, University of Turku, Finland

The John Morton Center for North American Studies invites proposals for previously unpublished papers for a two-day symposium, “North American In/Securities: A Local-Global Nexus,” to be held at the University of Turku on October 1-2, 2015. 
The symposium seeks to bring together scholars, activists, and artists to discuss 21st century security concerns in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and their global implications. We are particularly interested in three tensions that characterize contemporary security concerns: 1) national security vs. human security, 2) policy measures vs. grassroots activism, and 3) scholarly discourses vs. artistic interventions. Underscoring the multiple scales at which security issues are explicated, experienced, and represented, the symposium points to their far-reaching geographic, political, socioeconomic, military, and cultural ramifications.

Topics for presentations may include, among others:

·        border in/security

·        contemporary urban uprisings

·        criminal/terrorist insurgencies

·        drug wars in public space

·        trans/national drone wars

·        para/military strategies

·        grassroots activism

·        visual interventions

Please email abstracts of 250 words for 20-minute presentations, together with a max. 150-word bio, including name, institutional affiliation and position, phone number, and email address to jmc@utu.fi. The deadline for abstracts is April 30, 2015. Participants will receive notifications of acceptance by May 15, 2015. 
For further information, please see http://www.utu.fi/en/units/jmc/conferences/.
OPEN CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS: The 2016 Conference of the European Association for American Studies (EAAS) in Constanta, Romania. Deadline June 15, 2015: go to the conference website

EAAS (European Association for American Studies) Postgraduate Travel Grants

You can find all information concerning the EAAS Postgraduate Travel Grants at  http://www.eaas.eu/eaas-grants/travel-grants

The deadline for submissions is March 20th, 2015. Applications should be emailed to Pawel Frelik (vice-president@eaas.eu).

French Association of American Studies 2015 annual conference, La Rochelle, May 27-30, 2015: call for papers: "Movement, Place, Fixity." CFP deadline December 20: http://www.afea.fr/-Conference-2015-La-Rochelle-.html 

Job posting, Charles University, Prague: The Department of North American Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in Prague, the Czech Republic ( http://kas.fsv.cuni.cz/ASFSVEN-1.html) is announcing a vacancy for a full-time academic position of assistant professor in U.S. Cultural/Social History/Studies.

While the Search Committee will consider candidates from a variety of disciplines, consideration will be given to those who specialize in recent and contemporary U.S. cultural/social history/studies, primarily since the end of the Cold War.

 The deadline for PRINTED applications is January 31, 2015, midnight Central European time.  All candidates must satisfy the requirements specified below. http://kas.fsv.cuni.cz/ASFSVEN-5.html

The NAAS Conference 2015 in Oulu

Please note that the dates for the conference have been changed  to Monday, May 11, to Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Visit the NAAS 2015 Conference Website by clicking here:  https://sites.google.com/site/fasafinnishamericanstudies/naas-2015-conference

American Studies in Scandinavia is now available online all the way up to and including the Spring 2012 issue. To view the issues, click on the American Studies in Scandinavia menu button above.

European Journal of American Studies 9 (2), Summer 2014

The latest issue of the European Journal of American Studies is now available and can be found in full here: http://ejas.revues.org/10334

Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize In Partnership with the Journal American Art, submission deadline Jan 15, 2015

David P. Thelen Award and Willi Paul Adams Award


The David Thelen Award (formerly the Foreign Language Article Prize) is given biennially by the Organization of American Historians to the author of the best article on American history published in a foreign language. The winning article will be published in the Journal of American History. David Thelen was editor of the Journal of American History (1985–1999).


The Willi Paul Adams Award is given biennially by the Organization of American Historians to the author of the best book on American history published in a foreign language. The award (formerly the Foreign Language Book Prize) is named for Willi Paul Adams, who was an active member of OAH in Germany and a tireless advocate of the internationalization of American history.

CFP "Historians and the Margins: from North America to Former Empires" (University Paris 13, France, June 18-19, 2015)

North American Review call for papers, University of Northern Iowa, submissions deadline January 16, 2015

CFP: Neoliberalism and American Literature: Clinton Institute for American Studies, University College Dublin, February 20-21 2015. Abstract submission deadline November 17

Humanity in Action's Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship for American and European graduate students: application deadline October 30

EAAS Rob Kroes Publication Award

Call for Manuscript Submissions ~ Closing Date 20th October 2014

Click here to read the submission guidelines


Proposals deadline Aug. 25, 2014. 

"American Values: Public Virtues, Private Vices?"


Conference website: 


The Nordic Association for American Studies organizes the 24th Biennial NAAS Conference in the spring of 2015 in Oulu, Finland. We seek papers that address (but are not limited to) American values or issues of ethics in such areas as 

• American history and historiography • American literature and literary history • American politics and foreign policy • American arts, music, sports, and popular culture • American sociology, media, and economics • America studies as an academic field • Race, ethnic and gender studies related to the U.S. • Cultural representations of the U.S. abroad • Connections between the U.S. and Nordic countries 

Please email your max. 250-word paper proposal and a 100-word CV (for 20 minute papers) to Conference President Ari Helo (ari.helo@oulu.fiby Aug. 10, 2014. We will also consider three-person panel proposals. 

The conference is open to scholars and students from all over the world, but we offer lower registration fees to members of NAAS (Nordic Association for American Studies), EAAS (European Association for American Studies) and ASA (American Studies Association in the U.S). 

Conference website:


New book by Jan Nordby Gretlund just published: Heads on Fire: Essays on Southern Fiction, Odense: University Press of Southern Denmark, 2014. Read more by clicking here

To read the Spring-Summer 2014 issue of the NAAS Newsletter, click here

New book by Sirpa Salenius just published: Rose Elizabeth Cleveland: First Lady and Literary Scholar, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014

For updated news on the Orm Øverland Prize, to be awarded to the best graduate student paper presented at the 2015 NAAS conference in Oulo, click here.

CFP: Bridging North America: Connections and Divides

University of Turku, Finland

August 28-30, 2014

 The John Morton Center for North American Studies, established at the University of Turku in 2014, invites proposals for previously unpublished papers for its inaugural conference, “Bridging North America: Connections and Divides,” to be held on August 28-30, 2014. The conference seeks to bring together junior and senior scholars from inter/disciplinary backgrounds from the social sciences and the humanities to explore various cultural, socioeconomic, geographic, and political connections and divides between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and their global ramifications. The papers may deal with either historical perspectives or contemporary issues, and they may include both empirical and theoretical considerations. We particularly encourage submissions that engage in interdisciplinary and multi-methodological discussions on the study of North America.

 Topics for paper presentations may include:

 •                          bridges, borders, and boundaries

•                          the movement of people, goods, and services

•                          information flows, leaks, and security

•                          continental economies, policies, and politics

•                          transnational relationships

•                          identity formations, identity transformations, and identity politics

•                          cultural expressions, sporting practices, and visual representations

•                          interdisciplinary theories and practices

 Please email abstracts of 250 words for 20-minute paper presentations, together with a max. 150-word bio, including name, institutional affiliation and position, phone number and email address, to Research Coordinator Johanna Leinonen, emailjohlei@utu.fi. Abstract Deadline: May 31, 2014. Participants will receive notifications of acceptance by June 15, 2014.

 Selected papers will be published in a textbook designed for the transnational North American Studies classroom context, to be published in 2015. The book will follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Ed.

 For further information, please visit the conference website at www.utu.fi/en/units/jmc/bridging2014/.

 For general inquiries, please contact us at jmc@utu.fi.

 The Conference Committee at the University of Turku:

 Dr. Benita Heiskanen, Director, John Morton Center for North American Studies

Ph.D. Candidate Aleksi Huhta, Department of General History

Ph.D. Candidate Suvi Karila, Department of Cultural History

Dr. Janne Korkka, University Lecturer, Department of English

Dr. Johanna Leinonen, Research Coordinator, John Morton Center for North American Studies

Ph.D. Candidate Mari Toivanen, Coordinator, Network for Research on Multiculturalism and Societal Interaction

The First Biennial John Dos Passos Conference

October 10-11, 2014. Chattanooga, TN

Sponsored by the John Dos Passos Society

 The John Dos Passos Society invites papers for its first biennial conference. Prompted by the centennial of The Great War, a formative event in Dos Passos’s life and career, this conference will facilitate discussion of the author’s responses to war and other defining features of the early twentieth-century in his major and minor works. The meeting will conclude with an address by John Dos Passos Coggin, who will speak about his grandfather’s “writing life” as it compared with the styles and habits of his friends Hemingway and Fitzgerald.


Possible topics might include Dos Passos’s relationships to:


 the Great War

 the expatriate experience

 the politics of democracy and communism

 sex, sexuality, and gender

 labor, the proletarian novel, and the Popular Front

 Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and other luminaries of the period

 formalist experimentation

 realist, naturalist, modernist, and late-modernist aesthetics

 regionalism and internationalism

 genre: histories, travel writing, poetry, and so on

 painting and the visual arts

 the Midwest

 We will also hold a roundtable on “teaching Dos Passos,” and welcome short position papers on classroom experiences with his work.


Nestled in the southern Appalachian Mountains, Chattanooga, TN, was recently listed by the NYTimes as one of the world’s “45 places to go.” The city boasts a thriving Art District, which features the Hunter Art Museum as well as great restaurants, galleries, and coffee shops—all of which are adjacent to Coolidge Park and the Walnut Street Bridge, the longest pedestrian-only bridge in the Southeast. Chattanooga also offers a world-renowned aquarium, as well as outdoor adventures and several historic sites pertaining to the Trail of Tears and the Civil War. The conference has a group discount at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel, a renovated terminal station where participants may stay in conventional rooms or in restored sleeper cars. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will host the conference. The university, currently enrolling almost 12,000 students, is located downtown only a few blocks away from the Tennessee River.


Graduate students will be able to apply for a travel award after abstracts have been reviewed.

Please send an abstract of 250-300 words and a brief CV to jdpsociety@gmail.com by April 30th, 2014. Please make note of any A/V requests in your abstract. For more information about registration and membership, traveling to Chattanooga, and previous panels and newsletters of the John Dos Passos Society, please visit our site at http://jdpsociety.blogspot.com/.


(Proposals deadline Aug. 10, 2014)

"American Values: Public Virtues, Private Vices?"


University of Oulu, Finland, May 14-16, 2015 

Why does it matter so much to the American public today whether or not Thomas Jefferson had children with Sally Hemings at the end of the eighteenth century? Are there particular American ways to deal with ethical issues? Anyone visiting Washington DC is bound to notice the numerous temples of civil religion in the capital, such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial, among others. What do such historical concepts as the "Era of Good Feelings" and the "Gilded Age" imply? What changes in American values has immigration generated or is likely to cause in the near future?

A character in Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye notes that "I can very clearly see you dying nobly, one way or another, for some highly unworthy cause." How do values such as individualism, self-help, and egalitarianism figure in American literature and popular culture? We invite conference participants to consider how America has defined its central virtues in politics, literature, architecture, film, the media, popular culture, and everyday living, and also to reflect on how American values have impacted the rest of the world.

The Nordic Association for American Studies will organize the 24th Biennial NAAS Conference in the spring of 2015 in Oulu, Finland. We seek papers that address (but are not limited to) American values or issues of ethics in such areas as• American history and historiography

• American literature and literary history

• American politics and foreign policy

• American arts, music, sports, and popular culture

• American sociology, media, and economics

• America studies as an academic field

• Race, ethnic and gender studies related to the U.S.

• Cultural representations of the U.S. abroad

• Connections between the U.S. and Nordic countries

Please email your max. 250-word paper proposal and a 100-word CV (for 20 minute papers) to Conference President Ari Helo (ari.helo@oulu.fi) by Aug. 10, 2014. We will also consider three-person panel proposals.

The conference is open to scholars and students from all over the world, but we offer lower registration fees to members of NAAS (Nordic Association for American Studies), EAAS (European Association for American Studies) and ASA (American Studies Association in the U.S).

Eighth Biennial Conference of the Swedish Association for American Studies

Örebro, 26-27 September 2014

Call for Papers

SAAS is an academic network that encourages scholarship in the multidisciplinary field of American Studies. SAAS seeks to develop a critical understanding of the role, place and meaning of the United States and North America. In Sweden, research about the US/America is conducted in many different disciplines; the biennial SAAS conference thus functions as an important forum for interdisciplinary exchange and provides American Studies scholars with an opportunity to meet and network.

This is a first call for papers for the 8th SAAS conference, which will be held in Örebro 26-27 September 2014. We invite abstracts for individual papers (2-300 words) or panels (5-600 words) on any topic related to the study of the United States and North America. We welcome contributions from junior and senior scholars in areas including, but not limited to:



Cultural Studies

Film and Media Studies

Gender Studies



Popular Culture

Political Science


US or North American History

Send your abstracts to Jenny Bonnevier (jenny.bonnevier@oru.seand Chloé Avril (chloe.avril@eng.gu.se) by March 1 2014.

For more information about the conference, please contact Jenny Bonnevier or check the website for updates: www.saasinfo.se

Call For Papers: Created Equal? 

The Irish Association of American Studies Annual Conference

25 - 26th April, 2014
National University of Ireland, Galway

On the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the IAAS 2014 Annual Conference will investigate the notion of 'equality' in the American context.

The belief that "all men are created equal" was proclaimed self-evident in the Declaration of Independence. The phrase has been repeated and critiqued in the theatre of United States politics from Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address, Martin Luther King Jr. in his "I have a Dream" speech and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the 1848 Declaration of Rights and Sentiments. The historic struggle for equal rights in various forms belies the motto, and highlights America’s complicated relationship with 'equality'.

Enacted on July 2nd, 1964, the Civil Rights Act "prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin." The reality of a non-discriminatory society on these and other issues continues to be sought and fought on several fronts, as successive movements have challenged inequality in American society. Most recently, in June 2013, two key Supreme Court decisions highlighted the evolution of such movements: the defeat of the 1996 Defence of Marriage Act sparked widespread celebration among equal-rights groups, yet just one day earlier the same court voted to overturn Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, thereby removing restrictions on nine southern states with a history of discriminatory practice in voting procedure. A Texas State Attorney immediately responded by declaring that Voter ID laws—laws which have historically been used to limit voters of colour—would "take effect immediately."

At the IAAS Conference, 2014, we invite participants to explore America's strained relationship with the concept of equality and its impact on citizens of different race, religion, gender or origin. 

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to: 

·  Historic struggles for equality

·  The Civil War

·  The Civil Rights Movement

·  Media representations: film and television

·  Musical expressions of marginalised peoples

·  American borders: North and South

·  The concept of ‘melting pot’ America

·  Literature, poetry, novels, film and theatre exploring issues of equality

·  International relations

·  The architecture of equality

Please submit abstracts via http://goo.gl/W8fro2 (case sensitive)
The deadline for submissions is 10th January, 2014.

Contact IAASConference@gmail.com for more information, or visit http://iaas.ie/events/2014-iaas-annual-conference/

Call for presentations -- deadline November 30, 2013

North America in the World, and the World in North America 
University of Helsinki, May 12-16, 2014

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At the NAAS general meeting in Karlstad on May 24, 2013, a new president of NAAS and a new editorial team for American Studies in Scandinavia were elected. The new president is Maria Holmgren Troy, Sweden.The new editorial team, based in Finland, consists of Ari HeloMervi Miettinen, and Pirjo Ahokas. The meeting elected all by acclamation and welcomed them. The meeting also thanked outgoing president Jørn Brøndal and outgoing editor Anders Olsson for their services. During a transitional period, Olsson will be cooperating with the new editorial team.

Read the Spring-Summer 2013 NAAS Newsletter by clicking here (or on the relevant tab above)

EAAS Conference 2014: The European Association for American Studies (EAAS) has now published its lists of workshops and parallel lectures for the conference, “America: Justice, Conflict, War,” in The Hague, Netherlands, April 3-6, 2014.  To view the list of workshops, click hereTo view the list of parallel lectures click here. The deadline for paper proposals for the workshops is October 1, 2013. The paper proposals are to be submitted to the workshop chairs. Please consult the guidelines on pp. 3-4 in the above list of workshops.

To view the agenda for the NAAS general meeting in Karlstad on Friday, May 24, click here (or on the tab above)
The 23rd biannual conference of the Nordic Association for American Studies, Friday, May 24- Sunday, May 26, 2013, Karlstad University: "Currents and Countercurrents"
Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 with the promise of realizing “the true genius of America: that America can change.” Four years later, it has become evident that promissory notes are more easily made out rhetorically than cashed politically. Medicare for all remains a frail possibility at best; Guantanamo is still operational; US troops remain active in Iraq and Afghanistan; on January 30, 2012, the debt ceiling was raised to a new high of $16.394 trillion. Meanwhile, incidents like the murder of Trayvon Martin suggest that those who claimed the election of Obama signaled the beginning of the end to racial injustice in America were perhaps overly optimistic.

Such backlashes to the visionary view of America as the land of progress bespeak a tension between a current of liberalism and a countercurrent of conservatism that runs through the historical life of America in its entirety, making itself felt academically no less than politically and socially. Calls for change and reformation of academic disciplines like literary history, for instance, have always provoked responses insisting on the importance of tradition. What are we to make of this tension? Is the recurrent succession of calls for change and rallies for tradition a cause for concern or for celebration? Are such currents and countercurrents constitutive of American culture in particular, or rather to be seen as general features of modern society? And are we presently seeing a return to a more conservative conception of America, or rather its continuing ability to adapt to new circumstances even in times of financial crisis?

We seek papers that map currents and countercurrents in all aspects of American studies. What questions are being asked, by whom, to what end, and from what critical perspective? Papers are invited that address, but are not limited to, currents and countercurrents in:

  • American literature and American literary history
  • History and historiography
  • US politics
  • US art, music, and popular culture
  • Transnationalism
  • Racial studies
  • Gender studies
  • Sociology and social studies
  • Representations of the US in cultural forms from other countries
  • The study of Scandinavian-American connections

Please send proposals to magnus.ullen@kau.seand maria.holmgren.troy@kau.se by October 1, 2012, for 20 minute papers. Proposals for individual panel presentations (15-20 minutes) should be no longer than 300 words, and proposals for panels or workshops no more than one page. Workshops will be presented in the second call for papers. We look forward to receiving your proposal.

EAAS 2012 conference, "The Health of the Nation," in   
Izmir, March 30-April 2, 2012



14th Maple Leaf and Eagle Conference: "North America as West / the West of North AmericaUniversity of Helsinki," May 8-11, 2012.

Call for papers